The Week Unwrapped: Irish alcohol, world weather and British schools

Why is Ireland putting health warnings on drinks? Will a fall in deaths from extreme weather continue? And how should universities judge school leavers?

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days. With Abdulwahab Tahhan, Holden Frith and Felicity Capon.

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In this week’s episode, we discuss:

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Alcohol labelling

The Irish government has said it will force alcohol companies to add health warnings to their products from 2026, in an attempt to reduce alcohol-related deaths in the country. According to official statistics, one in 20 deaths in the country is the result of excess alcohol consumption. The proposals, which include graphic warnings that link drinking to cancer and other diseases, have led to a backlash in Italy and France, which have called on the EU to block them.

Extreme weather

A report published by the World Meteorological Organisation on Monday revealed that the number of people dying as a result of extreme weather has fallen dramatically over the past 50 years – despite the frequency of floods, storms and other extreme weather events rising by a factor of five over the same period. Why are we better at surviving these disasters, and will the trend continue despite climate change?

University admissions

According to a report this week, private school students are 30% more likely to get into Oxford or Cambridge if they switch to a state-funded school for their A-levels. The figures led to protests from groups representing private schools, who say their students now face unjustified discrimination. But are the country’s top universities simply correcting for inequalities embedded in the education system?

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